Comment: True spirit of Christmas is alive and well

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THE concerns expressed by volunteer extraordinaire Eileen Inglis about the commercialisation of Christmas will strike a chord with many people.

The pressure to get everything just right, as often as not for the benefit of children and other family members, can be pretty overwhelming. And, despite our best intentions, many of us end up spending far more than we think reasonable to get the present or the special foodie treats that we think might make the day for our loved ones.

Of course, it can all feel worth it when we see the smiles on our loved ones’ faces as they open their presents and tuck in to their Christmas dinner.

But amongst all this consumer frenzy it is great to see such a wonderful antidote as the Christmas feast Eileen and her friends are laying on for some of the city’s poorest families. The turkey and all the trimmings are being laid on for many of those who have had to turn to food banks in the Capital to get by this year.

None of this would have been possible without a stream of people coming forward to make Eileen’s idea a reality.

Colin Hinds, the award-winning chef at Stockbridge’s Kilted Lobster, is giving up his Christmas Day to cook and his suppliers are donating the food. The good people at City Cabs are giving up their time to offer free lifts to the venue and several other volunteers will be acting as waiters and waitresses.

Everyone involved deserves huge kudos for what they are doing.

The best thing about this effort, though, is that it is not that unusual. There are countless examples of terrific work being done by volunteers across the city to make life a little better for those worse off, not just over the festive season, but all year round. That is something of which everyone involved can be immensely proud. The true spirit of Christmas is still alive and kicking behind all those shopping sprees.